Tuesday 6 January 2015

The Invisible I

The first time it happened, I thought I must have missed something, or perhaps it was lost in the edit. So, when the subject returned to the news this morning, I listened with more attention - and blow me down, the same thing happened. The subject was the latest wave of demonstrations by the fast-growing German populist movement that calls itself Pegida - Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West. There was quite a lengthy report this time, with vox pops, interview, expert analysis - and, once again, not a single mention throughout of Islamisation, or indeed Islam or any of its derivatives. Despite its name, this organisation is apparently opposed only to the other I word - Immigration. Makes you wonder why they bother with that name, doesn't it...
 Clearly 'Islamisation' is now as invisible to the BBC mindset as 'Immigration' itself was not so long ago - how ironic that the latter is now the respectable term used to conceal the former. Whatever the rights and wrongs of 'Islamisation' - whether it exists, what it is, what kind of  threat it poses, if any - would surely have been matters worth discussing, especially as it's the Bad I Thing that seems to be preoccupying Pegida and many others across Europe. But whatever discussion is to be had is clearly not going to be heard on the Today programme. It's the Immigration, stupid. And look, the expert analyst pointed out, this protest movement is at its strongest in Dresden, where there are not many immigrants. So it's just those benighted racist Saxons; others, who have experienced the wonders of vibrant multiculturalism, love it so much they're more inclined to mount anti-Pegida protests. Well maybe, though one of the vox pops suggested otherwise: a woman described herself as 'a refugee' from her home town, where the prevailing culture (no hint as to what that culture might be, but I think we can rule out Lutheran) was such that she didn't feel it was a safe place to bring up her daughters. That woman may be a benighted racist - as may they all - but there's no way of judging when the very thing against which they're protesting can't even be mentioned on the BBC.
 Meanwhile Cologne Cathedral turned out its lights in protest against protests against Islamisation. And they say the Germans have no sense of humour...


  1. Visceral anti-immigrant sentiment should be fought, but this gives tolerance a bad name and explains the rise of the far-right in much of Europe. You and I are old enough to remember when much of the left and the beautiful people instinctively took the side of "socialist" and third world regimes against the West, both politically and culturally. It was dangerous madness, but at least it made some logical sense within their own worldview. Over the past decade or so, a lot of self-styled progressives and fellow travelers seem prepared to ignore or even defend a powerful force that is completely antithetical to everything they claim to hold dear, and which makes no bones about saying so. Their anti-Western political and cultural animus is so strong they seem to have happily moved from being naïve and misguided to being willfully blind.

    They may be getting tired, though, and looking for new causes-du-jour. The latest I've seen from several leftist sites is a defence of Putin's legitimate security concerns in response to Western sabre-rattling and irksome Ukrainian irredentists.

  2. Tip of the iceberg, Nige. While cardinal Woelki dashes for the light switch the boys down the Rathaus organise traffic detours in Kalk and Deutz, just across the river, allowing neo-nazi marches to take place. Köln has a huge Muslim population, sans integration, complete with the local population's understandable disquiet, oops, that's racist, isn't it.
    Congratulations on No 3 grandchild by the way.

  3. Thanks Malty - and Peter. Re the I Word, the outlook has got considerably darker today with the sickening news from Paris...

  4. I note the lengthy BBC account of the massacre managed to avoid the I word, although I suppose reporting the gunmen shouted that they had avenged the Prophet was a clue. Also, it appears the rote response of any Western leader to these attacks is to channel G.W. Bush. According to Hollande, the murders were committed in "a cowardly manner" (not like like your grandfather's courageous terrorist murders) because France is a land of liberty.

    Even money says within forty-eight hours we'll be hearing how the gunmen are believed to be lone wolves with histories of mental issues.

  5. Yes - two lone wolves! What are the chances? There will surely be warnings against succumbing to 'Islamophobia' too...
    At times like these, it's instructive to try a little thought experiment. Suppose gunmen invoking a Christian God had mounted a similarly murderous attack on any of the Arab publications in the Middle East that routinely stir up hatred against Jews, Christians and the West. By this time tomorrow, how many churches would still be standing in the Muslim world, and how many Christians left alive?

  6. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.